[Outlook]In with the new

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[Outlook]In with the new

A pitcher who hurls balls well is considered first-rate. He is considered better than a pitcher who can just toss the ball over home plate.
To an amateur pitcher, a ball is just something to throw to a batter. But to a professional pitcher, a ball can be a trick that can fool a batter.
Greg Maddux, a pitcher for the San Diego Padres, is called a superb control pitcher. People say that when he pitches a strike, only half the ball comes into the strike zone. When he throws a ball, only half of it goes out of the zone. His pitches are very tricky for a batter.
Even when a ball is thrown at the high speed of 160 kilometers (100 miles) per hour, if the ball comes into the middle of the strike zone, it can be hit. Maddux’s pitches can be 130 kilometers per hour, but only half of the ball is inside the strike zone.
Since 1988, his skill has won him more than 10 games a year for 20 consecutive years. He won the Cy Young Award, the highest honor for pitchers, for four straight years beginning in 1992. Last year, despite being 41 years old, he won 14 games, and now has 347 wins in 22 years.
I know a married couple, both college professors, who are good at organizing their books. Since they are both professors, books steadily pile up in their house. Thus, once every three months, they go through a bit of a cleanup: If neither of them has read a certain book within the past three months, they say they’ll never read it at all. So, they throw these books away, no matter how pricey and precious they may be. Otherwise, they would take up valuable space in their home. As it is, it’s quite hard for them to find space for the books they really need.
When people take a deep breath, many try to inhale as much air as possible at once. But it is just as important to completely exhale first when you want to breathe in fresh air. If you breathe out all the air from your lungs, new, fresh air will automatically fill your lungs. You have to breathe out in order to be filled with something new. This is the beauty of getting rid of the old.
The presidential transition team is busy with its job. In the past, people who worked on a transition team were appointed to good positions once their president-elect took office. This time, people likewise competed hard to get on the transition team.
Members of the Grand National Party are now competing fiercely to get nominations for the legislative elections in April.
Several people are anxiously awaiting job offers from President-elect Lee Myung-bak. These include people who worked on his presidential election campaign and those who contributed to his campaign. Those two groups maintain that they have strong ties to Lee as former schoolmates, hometown friends and so forth.
Nobody knows how many of these people are out there. But those who worked simply as media aides in Lee’s camp number more than 40, so we can guess how many people will claim even more tenuous connections to him.
Some say there are more than 30,000 public and private positions to which the president can make appointments. The president-elect must not give the chance to work in those positions to people who always stay near him and want to ride on his coattails.
It’s clear why he should be careful: When a person gets a job, chances are he won’t be satisfied until he moves up. It is very likely that he will want to be promoted to a higher, more powerful position.
Then he cares only about himself, his career and his achievements, rather than working hard for his organization.
When a person who knows little about a certain organization is appointed as its head, the organization can’t function well. The members will never fail to understand the situation. They know that their boss will leave the organization as soon as he gets a better position, so they don’t work for him with passion and loyalty.
The president-elect might think that it’s no big deal to give a “small position” to a person he owes a favor to, but the result will be the ruin of the organization and the country. If the president-elect owes a person a lot, it’s better if he just gives that person a gift or pays them off.
But these people who claim to be close to the president-elect won’t be happy if the government doesn’t employ them. They will criticize the president as a double-crosser who doesn’t deserve our trust.
There may be some people who agree with them. This could end up to be a burden for the president-elect. But even if 30,000 people hate the president, it’s much better to be loved by 48 million people.
It’s important to employ talented people more than anything. But sometimes, it’s also important to abandon them. For the sake of the country, the president-elect must be able to say, “Out with the old, in with the new.”

*The writer is the editor of the special reporting team of the JoongAng Ilbo

by Sohn Jang-hwan
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